During our stay in China we were really looking forward to cycle through Yunnan and once again enjoy riding our bikes in a mountainous region, as it was already a long time ago since we have been in the mountains of Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
On our way through the hills of Yunnan we stopped in the city of Dali in the Northern part of the province and spent a few days to relax in this sunny place located between a mountain range and the Erhai lake.
As usually we visited some markets to observe the locals selling and buying different goods, we stopped to have a chat here and there and to answer their questions about us, the bikes and our journey.
On one of the markets in Jinggu we have met Davis who invited us home to stay overnight. Since it was our first invitation in China we accepted it straight away, even though we still had a lot of kilometers in front of us to reach the border with Laos. In the evening we had the opportunity to attend a sport competition at his wife’s workplace where Mat had to pull a rope and proof his cyclist’s muscles.
On a cold and rainy day we luckily discovered that Chinese hotels can be quite cheap, that we can afford them and still keep our daily budget. Sleeping in a hotel also meant that we could safe at least two hours every day which we would usually need to find a decent camping spot, to put up the tent and pack everything together in the morning. It happened quite often, that we got a room with more than one bed (some times even with heated mattresses) and enough space for us and our bicycles for less than 3 Euro!
The more we cycled South the warmer it became and we felt that slowly we are leaving China and starting a new chapter of our journey. Arriving by bicycle in China was a milestone of our trip and to reach South East Asia will be a second big step for us with a lot of completely new places and cultures to discover.